Blur Newcastle Academy June 25 2009
Review by cub reporter Laura
After reading dad’s recent Anthony and the Jonson’s review, I noted that his writings regarding the bands that David and I persuade him to see tend to be a little brief. Indeed, dad often claims to not know what to write about when it comes to more recent bands. Although Blur, with their nineties Britpop routes, a six year split and reunion shows under their belt, could hardly be described as a “recent band”, it was definitely David and I who suggested dad got tickets. So to ensure the band get a fair and thorough hearing, I have nominated myself to take over this gig’s entry.
I was too young to appreciate Blur during the nineties, only knowing them as a band my brother liked. It wasn’t until about five years ago I began listening to their music and David and I always said we’d love to see them if they ever reformed. So when a tour was announced, dad, my brother and I all got tickets: initially for the Hyde Park gig later this month, however when the Newcastle date was added, we decided to see them at the academy instead.
We arrived at the venue at around eight o’clock and were presented in the busy entrance foyer with a “Blur 25.06.09” transfer tattoo. We then made our way into the main hall where support band Jolene and the Jing Jang Jong were finishing their set. From the little I heard they sounded pretty good, nothing exciting or unique but quite a nice sound all the same. Whilst waiting for Blur to come on stage, I bought my customary t-shirt, this time depicting the milk carton from the Coffee and TV video.
It was around 8.45 when Blur arrived on stage, kicking things off with “She’s So High” which got a great reception. The crowd however erupted into new levels of excitement when the band then seamlessly broke into “Girls and Boys” which began a sing along not ceasing till the show’s conclusion. Everybody seemed word perfect to each number, hits such as “Country House”, “Park Life”, “End of a Century” and an extended version of “Tender” particularly rousing. This, combined with the audience jumping so hard as to make the floor bounce, made the gig particularly atmospheric.
As well as the crowd, the band too seemed to be enjoying themselves. Although on the whole he didn’t speak too much, Damon proclaimed to like the venue as it reminded him of a music hall. He also made several ventures into the audience, diving into the crowd during “Trimm Trabb” and again later on in the show. They finished with “This is a Low”, returning to perform two sets of encores including a particularly energetic version of “song2” and a wonderful performance of “The Universal.”
All in all, the gig was incredibly energetic and exciting. The band played and sung as well as I’d hoped they would, backed perfectly by a group of vocalists, string and brass musicians. The set list was great, encompassing the right mix of hits, album favourites and early songs (which all three of us agreed to sound very punk).
We all had a fantastic night; however this was dampened by the news of Michael Jackson’s tragic death which we heard on the radio on the way home.
She’s so high
girls and boys
there’s no other way
out of time
coffee and tv
end of a century
to the end
this is a low